After delivery, one of the common questions that is asked by women is ‘how can I strengthen my core again?’ According to Jackie Stone, MD and OB/GYN with Maven Clinic, “Carrying and delivering a baby weakens your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. This can cause problems with posture, strength, fecal and urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and also issues with sexual satisfaction for some women.”
Therefore, it is important to do postpartum core strengthening exercises in order to re-connect with your body and strengthen your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. So what are some of the best postpartum core exercises? Let’s go on to find out.
Post-partum core exercises
It is so important for moms to reconnect to their bodies and really feel movement and breath through their belly region again. This is the best of the core strengthening exercises postpartum and should be practiced multiple times a day. This exercise should also be comfortable and part of life again before moving forward with other exercises.
How to do Basic Breath:
- Begin by lying on your back in a neutral spine.
- Breathe in slowly, feel your pelvic floor, and feel your abdominals open.
- Exhale slowly and feel your abdomen come in. Hold for 5 seconds
- Repeat 5-15 times with abdominal contractions multiple times per day.
How to do Pelvic Tilt:
- Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place a pillow under your hips, as well as another pillow or small stability ball between your knees.
- Place your arms at your side, inhale, then exhale. This is your starting position.
- Engage your abs and tuck your pelvis under slightly. Squeeze your glutes as you do a Kegel.
- Hold for a few seconds and then come back to your starting position.
How to do Cat/Cow Stretch:
- Begin by resting your hands and knees on the floor. Your knees should be under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders.
- Keep your back flat and your abdominals engaged. This is your starting position.
- Inhale, arch your back from your tailbone to your neck, and rest your abdominals. Imagine a string is pulling your back up towards the sky, where your stomach relaxes and your back is engaged.
- On your exhale, drop your head and round your back.
- Slowly move between the two positions.
- Return to starting position to complete the stretch.
How to do Single-leg Extensions:
- First, lie down with your knees bent at 90 degrees, your arms by your side, and your abs fully engaged.
- Inhale, keep your abs engaged and raise one leg to tabletop position.
- Slowly extend your lifted leg as close to the floor as you can.
- Slowly return to the bent-knee position at 90 degrees.
- Complete subsequent reps, alternating sides.
Every delivery and body is different, so it is necessary to get your doctor’s clearance before starting to do any postpartum training.